Babka from Polish Cooking (Ex Libris Books)

Mix the yeast with 1 t. sugar and a few T. warm milk; cover with a towel and leave in a warm place to grow. Add salt to dry sifted flour, pour in the yeast and the rest of the lukewarm milk, gently mix and leave for a few minutes. When it has risen, add egg yolks mixed with sugar and grated lemon peel and raisins and mix in a blender until smooth (about 10 min.) Still mixing, gradually add melted, still-warm butter, then add orange peel and raisins. When the dough has completely absorbed the butter, cover it with a towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour. When it doubles in volume, put it in a tall hollow-centered cake form, greased with butter and sprinkled with bread crumbs. The form should be filled a bit less than half of its height. Cover the pan with a towel. When the dough has almost filled the form, brush the top with an egg mixed with 1 t. milk and put into a moderate oven. Bake for about 40-50 minutes at 360 degrees. When cooled, the cake may be glazed, although it is often served without glaze for Easter.

(Note: above recipe makes 2 babki, 1 large (10" dia.) and 1 small (7" diameter).)


1 lb. wheat flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 c. butter
5 egg yolks
1 c. milk
2 oz. yeast
1/2 flat t. salt
2 oz. raisins
1 T. finely chopped candied orange peel, grated lemon peel (scalded with hot water)
1 egg to brush the babka
butter and bread crumbs to grease the cake form

Optional Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. boiling water

Mix powdered sugar with lemon juice and hot water.